Title:†† Department of Corrections

††††††††† Fulfill Your Potential


Gerald: As a Registered Nurse in Corrections, I need to have excellent assessment skills. In a Correctional facility, my assessment skills can be tested at any time. I have to respond to many types of emergencies. These can range from sports related injuries, a hypertensive episode, diabetic instability, a severe asthma attack, psychiatric crisis, or a life-threatening cardiac emergency. Assessment skills are critical to saving a life.


Denise: When I left my job at the hospital, I thought that I would lose my clinical skills; however, my skills are challenged every day by performing duties that are normally assigned to teams in the hospital. My duties include IV therapy, naso-gastric tubes, post-op, wound care and respiratory care. If an inmate needs more care than what we can provide in this setting, we have specialized facilities where we can provide more in-depth patient care.


Bob: My background in mental health nursing has been beneficial for my career in Corrections. Approximately 18% of our inmates require mental health services.


Dave: I would like you to increase the medication dose, document any behavior changes, then report back to me in 30 days.


Bob: Okay, weíll start that change at the next medication round.


Jeff: At some of our facilities, we deliver psychiatric services through the use of tele-medicine. I facilitate the visit with the inmate and the psychiatrist via tele-med. I review the medical record and answer the psychiatristís questions. Corrections is also at the forefront of tele-medicine for chronic care. This technology is used for services such as HIV and Hepatitis C counseling, cardiac care and infection control.


Dr. Phil Coady: I see this patientís ejection fraction is 25 percent. What is the patientís blood pressure?


Jeff: His blood pressure is 100 over 60, doctor. Would you like to review his medication list?


Marlene: I enjoy the challenge of keeping current with the standard of care for chronic diseases. I am able to do that through continuing education and in-service training.


Allen: Marlene?


Marlene: Can you explain the benefits of Peg elated Interferon versus the Unpeg elated preparation?


Allen: Well, the shot frequency is reduced to once a week and medication is moreÖ


Marlene: The Department of Corrections delivers prescribed medications daily to a population of about 50,000 inmates. I need to stay up-to-date on medication administration.


Marlene: This is your new medication. Itís important that you take this medication with food.


Susan: Although this environment requires a high level of security, I look forward to every day. Every day is different and my nursing skills are frequently challenged. Not only have I become a more experienced registered nurse, I am also a valued Corrections professional.


Dr. Phil Coady: The Department of Corrections has many facilities and a number of proposed facilities across the Commonwealth. You have many options for employment and promotion opportunities. You can work in a small facility in the eastern region of the Commonwealth, in a large facility in the central region, or in a medium-sized facility in the western region. For recent graduates, many facilities are designated as health professional shortage areas. You may qualify for a federal or state nurse loan repayment program. Any facility you select will present many challenges as you perform your daily responsibilities. Your reward is knowing that you make a difference by providing a vital service as part of a multidisciplinary team. The Department of Corrections is dedicated to protecting the public while delivering professional care to confined offenders.